It sounds similar to “The Biggest Loser” on NBC…but there’s a lot less energy involved.
The Littlest User Contest is a clever competition between Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH) and Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) in Minnesota. Each cooperative has six family teams (of course they’re member-consumers) competing to use the least amount of electricity this summer. WH’s six family teams are collectively referred to as the “Watt Watchers,” which are competing against the LREC “MiniMizers.”
Each family team can track their energy-saving progress by visiting MyMeter through their cooperatives’ websites. MyMeter is a web portal offered by the co-ops, which helps consumers track their daily energy use.
“The program (MyMeter) empowers members to save money on their electric bills… and it’s ultimately helping members better understand their energy use,” said Todd Jude, energy use consultant for WH.
Steve Walstad’s family (Energy Wise Guys) is one of the WH teams competing in this year’s contest. The Walstad family managed to cut $60 off last month’s electric bill as a result of the contest, and to help keep their energy use low, they have not turned on the air conditioner yet this summer.
“We’re competitive. We want to win,” Walstad says.
You can read comments online at http://www.whe.org/littlest-user-contest.html about how the contest is shaping up. One of the Watt Watcher’s team members posted, “I’m more and more amazed at how small and simple changes really DO make a difference!”
“Some of the families are using the contest to teach their kids how to save energy and money, as well as the importance of conservation,” said Lindsay Scherer, communications specialist for WH. “It’s been fun to watch the Watt Watcher’s progress and to see how excited each family is about saving energy.”
The Littlest User will be declared after July 31st and will receive a one-month supply of free electricity.